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Re: [okfn-help] Public Data Catalog Priorities and Demand

From: Chris Beer <chris-beer@grapevine.net.au>
Date: Sat, 09 Jan 2010 16:16:13 +1100
Message-ID: <4B48111D.6020406@grapevine.net.au>
To: David Read <david.read@okfn.org>
CC: rufus.pollock@okfn.org, Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray@okfn.org>, Steven Clift <clift@e-democracy.org>, sunlightlabs@groups.google.com, public-egov-ig@w3.org, Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de>, OKFN Help <okfn-help@lists.okfn.org>
A nice URL structure is always good IMO as it will increase your 
visability/ranking in third party search engines. That said...

This discussion of course assumes that people are going to use ckan (or 
ofkn or delicious or even data.gov.au) as their primary search facility 
to be of use - I cannot help but wonder if accepting that those who 
specialise in searches are the ones to use for any search function, and 
focus on making sure the information you're delivering is findable by 
those search engines. Keeping to the 80/20 rule, 80% of people will use 
a search engine first - in which case (under this example) a search on 
postcodes and UK will take people to the top result - 
postcode.royalmail.com, or failing that, the number 2 result which is 
the list on wikipedia. Using the opedata/statistics/uk example, the ofkn 
rates in top ten results, but only within the ofkn wiki.

Using the example ckan interface, as a user, I'm going to switch off 
straight away - google is giving me far more useful results. If I'm a 
business, I'll pay for data from Royal Mail due to the ROI. If I'm 
NGO/3rd sector, I technically could request all of the information 
normally provided at cost by Royal Mail by using FOI....

The reason I wanted to raise this is that we're wrestling with this same 
dilemma in my .gov.* workplace - they have gone and implemented a google 
search appliance and lo and behold, they are stll finding that the 
content on thier site (internally) is unfindable - because they haven't 
made it so. At the end of the day, the real priority in public data 
catalogues has to be making it findable and useful, be it on your own 
search engine or others. If you don't have good keywords/tags/seo in 
place, there is no use in looking at developing a useful search function 
on your site.

Just a few quick thoughts - if I'm off base, tell me to shut up :-)  
Prehaps I'm missing the point.



David Read wrote:
> Here's what it looks like in the URL searching for two tags:
> http://ckan.net/package/search?q=tags:postcode+tags:uk
> It would be consistent for us to add tag searching in this way. e.g.:
> http://ckan.net/tag/search?q=postcode+uk
> That would be similar to the delicious case you mention. If we're
> trying to encourage people to browse in this way then I suggest we do
> it graphically with tag trees. We are already poised to add one to the
> package browse page. We could also add it to the search results page
> too if people think that is going to be useful?
> David
> 2010/1/7 Rufus Pollock <rufus.pollock@okfn.org>:
>> You can already do this via search: e.g. just do tags: xxx yyy but
>> don't have nice url structure for it as yet. How much value in having
>> the nicer url structure?
>> Rufus
>> 2009/12/21 Jonathan Gray <jonathan.gray@okfn.org>:
>>> Excellent - this looks great. I guess one of the main features I'd
>>> really like to see in CKAN is one that Delicious currently has, which
>>> allows you to query for, e.g. 'open data':
>>>  http://delicious.com/tag/opendata
>>> Then add 'statistics':
>>>  http://delicious.com/tag/opendata+statistics
>>> Then add 'uk':
>>>  http://delicious.com/tag/opendata+statistics+uk
>>> I think this is a really nice way of browsing, allowing for
>>> serendipitous discovery (with suggestions of related tags on the right
>>> hand side) as well as a simple URL structure.
>>> Best wishes,
>>> Jonathan
>>> On Mon, Dec 21, 2009 at 3:47 PM, Richard Cyganiak <richard@cyganiak.de> wrote:
>>>> Hi Jonathan,
>>>> On 21 Dec 2009, at 10:24, Jonathan Gray wrote:
>>>>> FYI, we are currently looking at different ways of visually
>>>>> representing the CKAN data (for data.gov.uk) - from tag clouds to
>>>>> faceted browsing.
>>>> Small aside: We have a simple faceted browser over the data.gov catalog,
>>>> based on Simile Exhibit. It might give you a general idea of the experience
>>>> of faceted browsing over a data catalog. It's here:
>>>> http://lab.linkeddata.deri.ie/data.gov/
>>>> Back to lurk mode...
>>>> Richard
>>>> --
>>>> Linked Data Technologist  Linked Data Research Centre
>>>> Digital Enterprise Research Institute (DERI), NUI Galway, Ireland
>>>> http://linkeddata.deri.ie/
>>>> skype:richard.cyganiak
>>>> tel:+353-91-49-5711
>>> --
>>> Jonathan Gray
>>> Community Coordinator
>>> The Open Knowledge Foundation
>>> http://www.okfn.org
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> okfn-help mailing list
>>> okfn-help@lists.okfn.org
>>> http://lists.okfn.org/mailman/listinfo/okfn-help
>> --
>> Promoting Open Knowledge in a Digital Age
>> http://www.okfn.org/ - http://blog.okfn.org/
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Received on Saturday, 9 January 2010 05:16:57 UTC

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